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Discussion: Didn't realise it was still...

in: jennycas; jennycas > 2017-03-21

Mar 21, 2017 10:46 AM # 
Meredith:
Didn't realise it was still summer??
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Mar 21, 2017 10:58 AM # 
jennycas:
Adelaide + March = summer!
The twilight rogaine which mum & I set in March 2008 was followed by 15 days above 35 degrees.

It's just that we'd forgotten about this because March had been a bit cooler than usual the past couple of years (but actually, I think there is some sort of official 'shoulder' season for meteorological reporting purposes...Blair can explain it properly).
Mar 21, 2017 11:57 AM # 
LOST_Richard:
Perth also cooler than normal this month
Mar 22, 2017 4:30 AM # 
TheInvisibleLog:
Astronomically summer ends at the equinox... ? Which means today is the first day of autumn by that method.
Mar 22, 2017 7:13 AM # 
blairtrewin:
Meteorologists generally use the calendar months, astronomers the equinox/solstice. Which one's in common use varies a fair bit from country to country - in Australia popular use tends to follow the meteorological seasons, in the US it's the astronomical ones.

We sometimes also speak of 'extended summer' or the 'warm season', especially if we're tracking things like number of days over 30/35/40 for the season. This can include November and March, and sometimes October and April too depending on the context. It's rare for Adelaide or Melbourne to have its hottest day of the 'summer' outside of December to February, but it's more common in Sydney. (In 2009, when there was an exceptional heatwave in Queensland/northern NSW in August, there were a few places on the coast when the hottest day of the entire 12 months from July 2009 to June 2010 was in August!).

As a general rule, there's less variation in temperatures (both up and down) as you get later into summer, so the highest extremes are lower - Adelaide's five 45-degree days were all in January - but you're more likely to get long spells of moderate heat. A lot of records for days-in-a-row-above in SA/Victoria/Tasmania have been set in March - e.g. days in a row above 35 and 38 in Adelaide, and 30 in Melbourne and Launceston.

As far as the seasons go, the start of the coldest 90-day period of the year is within a few days of 1 June almost everywhere in Australia (except in southwest WA where it's a week or two later), but the start of the hottest 90-day period is a bit all over the place - on exposed parts of the coast it's mid- or even late December, but in inland SA and northern Victoria it's late November/early December, and by the time you get as far inland as Alice Springs it's mid-November. That's before you run into the complications of the tropical wet season - in Darwin the hottest months of the year are usually October and November (before the wet season properly starts) and April (after most of it's finished).
Mar 22, 2017 10:37 AM # 
jennycas:
Subconsciously, I probably think of the fire ban season as being equivalent to "summer".

14 of the 22 days so far this March have had maximums (maxima?) over 30, with at least 3 more forecast; last year it ended up being 16/31. We've had some pleasant autumn nights though :)
Mar 22, 2017 11:36 PM # 
tRicky:
I doesn't seem like it since it was so long ago but we've had nine days over 30 degrees this March, with the last one being over ten days ago so all in the first eleven days. We're not looking like having any more before the month's out.
Mar 23, 2017 2:33 AM # 
blairtrewin:
Averaged over all of Australia, March is going to be the hottest on record or very close to that. There's one tiny spot in our preliminary analysis, not more than 50km across, where the March average maximum temperature is very much below average (coolest 10% of years on record). Guess where it is?
Mar 23, 2017 2:42 AM # 
tRicky:
In the bedroom?
Mar 23, 2017 4:01 AM # 
jennycas:
Above a cluster of refrigerated warehouses!
But seriously, how many observation sites need to be within that area in order to pinpoint it so precisely?
Mar 23, 2017 4:14 AM # 
blairtrewin:
The analysis can do some interesting things in data-sparse areas, but over metropolitan Perth there's a pretty high network density.

To see what a cool March looks like in Perth, try 1927 - looks as if March and April had been swapped that year. (I have found cases in the database where months actually were swapped by accident, but this one is real).
Mar 23, 2017 5:12 AM # 
tRicky:
So my early voting supervisor wasn't quite correct when she said she didn't recall it ever getting near 100 degrees (she was speaking with the old tongue) when she was a kid. Well maybe she was by saying she didn't remember but it did clear the 40 degree mark on some occasions back in the day so it's not a totally new experience.
Mar 23, 2017 6:23 AM # 
blairtrewin:
That's unusual - normally older people say how much hotter the hot days were back in the day. In a few parts of southern WA they might even be right.
Mar 23, 2017 6:36 AM # 
tRicky:
That's because they didn't have aircon. It'd be cool (pardon the pun) to see modern society living without it.
Mar 23, 2017 9:58 AM # 
blairtrewin:
The consequences would probably be similar to what they were in the (not-so) good old days. Something like 5% of the population of Bourke (the first sizable outback town, because of its role as a river port) died during the 1896 heatwave.
Mar 23, 2017 10:22 AM # 
tRicky:
They just weren't as tough as the people of the early 1800s.

Checking Lithuania's summer weather today, we'll be unlikely to experience any of that with the average August temperatures at around 21C and August is also the second biggest rainfall month at around 65mm. So much for having a second summer. I'd better take the rain jacket.
Mar 23, 2017 11:36 AM # 
TrishTash:
The rain jacket AND the new jumper I bought you for an early Birthday present :P

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